Kodak soars as its patents hit £1.8bn

Steve Dinneen
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PHOTOGRAPHIC film-maker Eastman Kodak saw its stock soar by almost a quarter yesterday after its portfolio of digital-imaging patents was valued at up to $3bn (£1.8bn) by MDB Capital Group.

In the wake of Google’s $12.5bn patent-led acquisition of Motorola, patents have become hot property. The valuation means Kodak’s patents could be worth five times the rest of the company.

Analysts say Kodak could now become a takeover target for the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Samsung.

Kodak technology is used in up to 85 per cent of digital cameras, including those in smartphones, making its patents extremely valuable.

It is seen as a prime target after falling in value from a high of $30bn in the days before the popularity of digital photography to just $600m.

It is understood Kodak owns around 1,100 digital imaging patents – dwarfed by the 17,000 owned by Motorola.

A $4.5bn auction of Nortel patents earlier this year was won by Apple, Microsoft, and BlackBerry-maker RIM, with Google accusing its rivals of ganging up to freeze it out.

Samsung has had the sale of its new tablet PC blocked in Europe as part of the increasingly fierce patent war.